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My Life Outside of School
Editorís Note: A popular agenda item at the NOPBC Annual Meeting, is our youth speaker. At the 2001 Annual Meeting, Macy McClain, the ten-year-old daughter of Mark and Crystal McClain of Ohio, was an instant hit with the following presentation:
Our minister always starts with a joke, so I thought I would too. Why did the kids wear bathing suits to school? They were in a car pool!
Donít get me wrong, I like school. I like to learn new things and I love to read Braille. But, the fourth grade proficiency test stinks! Iím glad itís over. Today I want to talk about fun and exciting things, like beeper ball, music, and church. Letís start with church.
I have my Sunday school books in Braille, and I take them to Sunday school each week. This means I can do the same lesson as the other kids in Sunday school. I have the bulletin e-mailed to me, and my dad prints it out on our Braille Blazer embosser. Thatís how I know what to say during the responsive readings in the church service. The bulletin also tells me what songs we are singing that Sunday. I look the songs up in my Braille hymnal and take only the songs for that Sunday. I also have a Braille Bible at home and one at church. My mom marked the pages in print so the people at church can help me find the right verses. I love learning about Jesus. Having things in Braille for church makes it terrific. I also participate in Godís Kidís Choir at church. I love to sing. This brings me to my next topic, music!
Macy plays a tactually adapted game of Twister
Macy and twin sister, Madison, take a turn on the dance floor at the 2001 convention.
Besides reading, music is my favorite thing! I was in Pizzazz during fourth grade. Pizzazz is a show choir. We sing and dance. We learn a winter show and a spring show. We only practiced once a week, but I had to practice extra to learn the steps. I even got to sing a solo in the spring show. We performed at rest homes and events in our town. I also sing in talent shows and at other churches. I play the piano and the violin. I have been playing the piano for four years. I play in the International Piano Guild competition. I just started the violin during fourth grade. I have already learned lots. I am going to start learning the flute in fifth grade. I think the flute sounds really pretty. I canít wait to learn to play it. I like to listen to CDís on my Discman. My favorite CD is Brittany Spears, ďOops! I did it again.Ē
Other things I like to do are playing with my beeper ball, riding my scooter, and dribbling a basketball. I spend lots of time swimming at YMCA or in my pool at home. I jump on my trampoline and practice my softball throw. I like to play UNO with my family. I like to cook, especially microwave cooking. I just finished my judging for 4‑H. I did excellent! I had fun at Ohioís Family Campout Weekend and at the Ohio State School for the Blindís track and field day.
Last summer I went to the BLIND, Inc. in Minnesota [BLIND, Inc. is one of three rehabilitation training centers run by the NFB]. I flew on an airplane by myself for the first time. I spent four weeks there. I had lots of fun. We had Braille, travel, and life-skills lessons every day. I liked riding the rides at the Mall of America. We camped out, went to pool parties, and had a dance. I was the queen of the dance. We also cooked, worked in the workshop, and rode the city buses. I had so much fun I am going back this year. This year my friend Kyle Connelly from Cincinnati is going. We are going to have a blast. My mom says the best part is how much I learn while I am there. The Minnesota accent is an added plus I get to bring home from Minnesota.
I pretty much like to do the same things as other ten‑year‑old kids, including talking on the phone. Braille makes activities more fun. Sometimes I need special things to help me do something. So far Iím having a great summer.